The first step to wean your baby is to introduce them to a sippy cup. Here are some tips from experts to help you transition your baby from breast or bottle and a list of the top sippy cups for infants.
Babies love their bottles or breastfeeding sessions, so there’s no surprise here. However, you may be surprised when you discover how attached you’ve become to them too. This isn’t surprising! They’re easy to predict, simple to follow, and more importantly, it’s a soothing reminder that your increasingly dependent child remains your child.
When to Introduce Sippy Cups
Your child probably won’t be capable of holding an empty cup or drink without spilling until the age of 1. However, they can begin practicing earlier. The best moment to introduce a sippy container, using straws, spouted or spoutless is typically six months old at which point they begin the process of eating solids.
Tips for Easing the Transition
Your baby will not begin to drink from the sippy cups overnight. Here are some tips from experts to bridge the gap between the bottle or breast and the cup.
You can try a couple of sippy cups.
There is a myriad of baby cup options to choose from – soft and hard-spout sippy cups and ones with straws, some experts Best slow flow sippy cups as the other ones can hamper the development of eating. If possible, get different types. Your child might have preferences.
Start by offering an empty cup.
Then, give your child an empty cup, and allow your baby to play around and explore it. Keep this up for a few days to ensure they’re familiar with the cup prior to when you add liquid to it. You could also inform them that they’ll soon drink from the cup, advises Mark L. Brenner, Ph. D. and author of Pacifiers, Blankets, Bottles and Thumbs: What Every Parent Needs to Know about the process of starting and stopping.
Help their sip.
Be sure your child is sitting before handing them a cup of breastmilk, water or formula (never juice at this point). Place the cup in their mouths and then gently tilt it until the liquid drips in. Allow your child to take in the liquid before giving them additionally. If you place formula or breast milk (or even a small amount of baby food puree) in the middle of a baby cup which is a straw that is short your child will be able to taste it and likely take a sip to drink more.
Make the cup look appealing.
If you’ve been using a bottle to feed your child the kids, a simple option is to use the bottle solely for drinking water and leave the rest for your sippy cup. An Editor and advisor to parents of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Baby and Child Health.
Limit the time you drink with your sippy cups.
If your child is awed by it, they could be tempted to use it every day. But do not allow them to carry it during the day. You can make it a pacifier or go to bed in it. Continuously bathing their teeth with sugary drinks (even breastfeeding milk!) can increase the chance to develop tooth decay.
Always supervise your child.
Be sure to supervise your child when they drink in a cup during a sitting. If they run or walk using a cup and fall, it can cause mouth injuries.
Learn how to wean yourself.
The longer you put off start weaning, the more tied your baby will become to the breast or bottle–and the more difficult it will be to let them let it go. When your baby is used to sippy cups (about one month or so) it’s time to begin weaning. If you’re moving too fast and your baby may see the cup as an act of punishment rather than drinking a different way.
The Best Sippy Cups for Babies and Toddlers
Are you ready to wean your child off of the bottle or breast? You could introduce them to a cup with an open-top as soon as they’re ready, but you’ll be faced with a lot of acrid messes. (You can be sure they’ll enjoy throwing that entire cup into the air!) To reduce stress and hassle, it’s generally better to pick a sippy container specifically designed for the transitional stage.